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USAA reinstates ads on ‘Hannity’ after facing backlash from military groups

The USAA financial services firm announced Tuesday it will reinstate its ads on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s program after facing intense backlash from military members and veterans groups. (2014 file photo/Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

The USAA financial services firm announced Tuesday it will reinstate its advertising on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s nightly show after facing backlash from military members and veterans groups for pulling its ads last week.

USAA pulled its commercials from Hannity’s program following pressure from progressive groups for companies to remove their advertising from the conservative show host’s block after he discussed conspiracy theories on-air linking the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and WikiLeaks, in a story that Fox News was later forced to retract.

But it appeared the liberal push to boycott — at least with USAA — backfired just a bit. USAA also pulled its ads from CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” and MSNBC’s “Hardball” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” because the advertising violated the company’s policy of not airing commercials on opinion-based shows.

USAA, a Texas-based company, said it only advertises on “news programs.” So when the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog, pointed out that USAA runs ads on MSNBC’s opinion programs, the company also dropped those ads.

Regardless, the company decided to reinstate its ads on Hannity and the other shows from which it had pulled its ads, The Associated Press reported.

USAA was just one of 10 companies, according to Media Matters, that had announced it would be pulling its advertisements from Hannity’s 10 p.m. show. Others included companies like Cars.com, TD Ameritrade, and Crowne Plaza.

Media Matters, which was founded by liberal billionaire George Soros, described Hannity as “a professional propagandist for President Donald Trump, as well as a bigot, a sexist, and a conspiracy theorist.”

The Fox News host announced last week that he would no longer discuss Seth Rich on his program, although he defiantly stated on twitter that he stood behind his reporting on the Rich affair and that he did not retract anything he had said. Seth Rich parents requested that their son’s name not be used for political purposes.

USAA said it has decided to continue the ads as it reviews its advertising policies.

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